This International Women’s Day we feel supremely lucky to be surrounded by so many powerhouse females. We’re proud to count many incredible female design pros on our roster of world class dealers. We’re consistently in awe of their caliber of product, industry knowledge, and general business savvy. As such, we wanted to take this Women’s Day to hear about their dynamic careers right from the source. So to ring in this IWD, we spoke to 14 of our spectacular female dealers and asked them how they’re navigating the worlds of fine art, antiques, and bespoke. Read on to learn more about the unstoppable women behind some of your favorite DECASO storefronts!
What unique point of view do you bring to the design landscape?
Maja Lithander Smith of FOUND by Maja
“I am passionate about sourcing authentic pieces from across the world and bringing them home to San Francisco to share with friends, family, and clients. My loves include color, texture, layers, and mixing vintage, as well as artisanal goods, making bold design statements with lighting and furniture. I only carry collections that I want to adorn my home with. I have a strong sense of color/aesthetic, and I stick to it with what I offer in my store.”
Chris Miele & Valerie Guariglia of reGeneration Furniture
“We are able to identify pieces that will stand the test of time. Values and trends fluctuate, but over the course of our 25 years, we have honed in on classic examples, vintage and contemporary, that never go out of style.”
Laurin Copen of Laurin Copen Antiques
“I bring a well-practiced eye with the ability to balance beautiful and unique pieces in an eclectic environment. They’re styled throughout our 18th Century farmhouse in a manner which evokes creativity and inspiration.”
Claudia Juestel of Adeeni Design Galerie
“I bring a European perspective; many are unfamiliar with Austrian vintage and contemporary design, as well as the endless bespoke options.”
Annie and Maggie Genovese of Forsyth
“We like to consider what we do a form of recycling, but of course, in a most luxurious manner. We restore iconic designs of the past to be loved and enjoyed for generations. Every piece that leaves our studio is distinctly one of a kind, with both vintage character and a new look for modern living. It is our passion to creatively bring a new life to old pieces.”
Tell us about an especially smart business decision you made along the way.
Mary Woerner of Mary Woerner Fine Arts
“I learned many years ago that not only is it necessary to love the art I sell, but to love the artists I represent. The dealer artist relationship is like a marriage and takes love, patience, honesty, respect and hard work.”
Eliská Sapera of Eliská Design Associates
“Producing, photographing and releasing items from my bespoke furniture range to the general public allowed clients to see what my practice was capable of producing and was a way of showcasing the ranges of unusual wood and metal finishes that define my design aesthetic.”
Mary H. Tindukasiri of MJH Design Arts
“For me, staying on top of design trends, without being ‘trendy’ is key. I also embraced the internet from the moment I saw the potential to reach a world market.”
Deborah Slobin, Julie Sundberg & Leslie Weisberg of Le Shoppe Too
“One of the best business decisions we have made along the way has been diversifying our avenue of sales by joining multiple online platforms. Joining Chairish/DECASO has been tremendously beneficial to us as a business.”
Jean Nelson of circa20c
“Do what you love, it never feels like work. I left corporate America after 30 years and know I made the right decision.”
How do you keep up the momentum of your business?
Lisa Cooper of Elisa Contemporary Art
“By constantly being on the look-out for new artists and sharing the unique artistic visions of my current artists. A key criteria is also only representing and sharing work that I love!”
Isabelle Weiss of Next:Space
“The people. Cultivating relationships with designers and clients is an ever-evolving process – most rewarding when you least expect it and, sometimes, in surprising ways.”
Malena Brush of Habitat Gallery
“I think when you own your own business, you have to be careful not to let the business own you. I set realistic goals for both myself and my business and reward myself for achieving those goals.”
Susan Clark of Radnor
“The launch / installation concepts for me are the energy we need to keep our momentum. They offer us such wonderful challenges and opportunities to work with each designer, our clients, and the world at large. I adore the process.”